Chili Colorado Recipe {Mexican Magic In My Way}

Chili Colorado Recipe {Mexican Magic In My Way}
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Chili Colorado Recipe
Tender beef shoulder stew, slow-cooked with spices and tomato paste, perfect with Mexican rice, refried beans, or as a burrito filling. Comforting and flavorful!

Howdy folks! Austin here from Beyond the Bayou Blog with a spicy new recipe to share. Today we’re cooking up a big batch of Chili Colorado – a rich, meaty chili straight from the heart of the Southwest.

I first tried this dish years ago on a road trip through New Mexico with some buddies from college. We stopped at this tiny little hole-in-the-wall joint in the middle of nowhere, and the owner was in the back cooking up a storm. One bite of her chili colorado and I was hooked!

The thick, velvety sauce coating tender hunks of beef was like nothing I’d ever tasted before. A perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and hot with hints of chocolate and spices. I requested that sweet old lady until she finally scribbled down the recipe for me on a napkin.

Whenever I get a craving for that authentic Southwestern flavor, this is the dish I turn to. It’s a labor of love, but well worth the effort! Let’s get cooking, amigos.

Overview: How To Make Chili Colorado?

Overview_ How To Make Chili Colorado

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for a hearty beef shoulder stew that’s packed with flavor. This dish starts with beef shoulder cut into bite-sized cubes and dredged in flour to ensure a thick, rich sauce.

After browning the beef to get that perfect color and flavor, I add a blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder, along with some tomato paste and water. It all simmers together low and slow until the beef is tender enough to fall apart with a fork.

This savory stew is perfect served on its own with Mexican rice and refried beans, or as a filling for burritos. It’s a comforting and versatile dish that’s sure to please. Enjoy!

Chili Colorado Recipe {Mexican Magic In My Way}

Chili Colorado Recipe

Tender beef shoulder stew, slow-cooked with spices and tomato paste, perfect with Mexican rice, refried beans, or as a burrito filling. Comforting and flavorful!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: maxican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Austin Carter
Servings: 6


  • Heavy-bottomed pot
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Plate
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Fork


  • 2-3 lbs beef shoulder cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper


  • Spread flour on a plate and coat beef cubes, dusting off excess.
  • Brown beef in oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, tomato paste, and water.
  • Bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours until beef is tender.
  • Test tenderness by mashing a piece with a fork. It should fall apart easily.
  • Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans or as a burrito filling.


Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 88g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Sodium: 267mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 3.7g
Keyword Best chili colorado recipe, Chili colorado, Chili colorado recipe, Chili colorado recipe chicken, Chili Colorado sauce, Easy chili Colorado recipe

Tips that I Will Recommend!

  • Use Homemade Stock: Always use homemade stock, whether beef or chicken, when possible. It offers better flavor and texture than store-bought stocks and lets you control the sodium level.
  • Sweetness: Using many dried chiles can make your sauce slightly bitter. Balance it with a touch of sweetness from agave, honey, or sugar. Just a little is enough to reduce bitterness without making the chili sweet.
  • Slow Cooker: After prepping the sauce and browning the meat in a skillet, transfer the beef to your slow cooker. Add the red chile sauce and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Choosing the Best Cut of Beef: I prefer using chuck roast that I cut up myself, but stew meat or beef shoulder works well too.
  • Use a Hot Pan: Ensure the pan is really hot before searing the beef. Do not crowd the pan; if it’s too crowded, the beef will sweat and not brown properly. Brown the beef in batches if necessary. This makes a big difference in the final dish!

What to Serve with Chili Colorado?

What to Serve with Chili Colorado

Variations You May Like!

  • Different Meat: Substitute pork shoulder or butt for the beef.
  • Add Beans: For an American chili vibe, add 1-2 cans of black beans or your favorite chili beans.
  • Vegetarian Chile Colorado: Skip the beef and add 4 cubed Yukon Gold potatoes and any other veggies like carrots, mushrooms, or onions. Simmer in the sauce until tender.
  • Instant Pot Chile Colorado: Add the prepared sauce and seared meat to the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow a natural release.
  • Slow Cooker Chile Colorado: Add the prepared sauce and seared meat to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Storing and Managing Leftovers!

  • Storage: Store this dish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. In the microwave, cover the container with a paper towel to prevent splattering.
  • Freeze: Use a freezable bag and lay it flat in the freezer to save space. Don’t forget to date the bag. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw it in the fridge for 24 hours before reheating.

What Is the Difference Between Chili Colorado and Chile Verde?

Chili Colorado and Chili Verde are both delicious Mexican dishes, but they differ in their main ingredients. Chili Colorado uses red chili sauce made from dried red chilies and typically includes beef as the meat. On the other hand, Chili Verde uses a green chili sauce made from fresh green chilies and usually includes pork as the meat. The color and flavor profiles of the sauces are distinct, with Chili Colorado being richer and spicier while Chili Verde has a tangy and bright flavor.

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